As I walked onto the stunning land that is Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau, one of the first things to catch my eye was the traditional grass thatched hālau (A-frame structure). Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau is an historical place sometimes referred to as the 'Place of Refuge', and is located on the south coast south of Kona, Big Island. In the bright morning sunlight, the stark white earth sparkled and served as the flooring for the simple open housing. Coconut palms swayed in the breeze and their shadows painted distinct patterns on the ground.

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